Friendship Baptist Church

As far back as the early 1890’s or before we find that an interest in the people living in the Laffoon section of Daviess County was manifested on the part of Bethabara and Bell’s Run Churches. Elder B. F. Jenkins, in particular, began worship services among the people and continued these services for some time. This culminated in the erection of Friendship Mission Chapel in the year 1896 through the combined efforts of the Whitesville, Bethabara, Bell’s Run, Sugar Grove, Macedonia, and Owensboro First Churches. For a number of years services were held in the chapel by various preachers and missionaries of the Association.

From about the year 1905 Elder Norris Lashbrook labored faithfully and well in this community until on September 19, 1909, the Friendship Baptist Church was constituted. The members who went into the constitution of the Church were from the Bethabara Church at Habit, and were dismissed by the Church for this purpose. Their names were as follows:

  • H. L. Alsip
  • Josie Alsip
  • Myrtle Alsip
  • Ray Carlin
  • Virgie Jackson
  • E. Roscoe Jones
  • Charlie Cook
  • George W. Ratcliff
  • Pearl Williams
  • Zetta Hazelrigg
  • Lizzie Alsip
  • R. E. Alsip
  • Armstead Carlin
  • Lillie Carlin
  • Oscar M. Hite
  • Roxie Ann Jones
  • Lula Cook
  • Fannie Ratcliff
  • Annie Williams
  • Mary Onstott
  • J. C. Alsip
  • James Alsip
  • Fannie E. Carlin
  • Abbie Jackson
  • Bessie F. Hite
  • Finley Cook
  • Mamie Lee Cook
  • Lonnie Williams
  • Rutha Hazelrigg
  • Georgia Ann Onstott

The council of recognition was composed of brethren from Bell’s Run, Bethabara, Sugar Grove, and Pleasant Ridge Churches. Immediately after the organization of the Church the doors were opened for those wishing to unite with the new Church. One was received by letter; thirty-nine by watchcare; twenty for baptism, and one by relationship. Thus in the regular ways Baptists receive members the Church membership increased from thirty to ninety-one. Most of the latter group came from the memberships of the Churches in the council of recognition. The name chosen for the new Church was “Friendship,” and Elder Norris Lashbrook was chosen as the first pastor and entered immediately upon his labors with the Church.

The following brethren have served in the pastorate since the organization of the Church:


Pastor Years
Norris Lashbrook 1909-1911
Frank Farmer 1912-1916
T. T. Willett 1916-1917
C. T. Bruner 1917-1918
Norris Lashbrook 1918-1922
H. S. Wiggington 1922-1923
E. D. Maddox 1923-1926
Foster E. Howard 1926-1930
John W. Kincheloe 1930-1933
Norris Lashbrook 1933-1935
Elwin S. Skiles 1936-1941
James Kelly 1941-1943

From first to last the Church has been served by the following as Clerks:


Clerks Years
Charlie Cook 1909-1914
Wesley Jackson 1914-1915
Roy Carlin 1915-1916
Charlie Cook 1916-1930
F. Emmett Hite 1930-1933
Charlie Ware 1933-1940
Orvin Hickey 1940-1941
Susie Mae Ambrose since 1941

The clerkship of Brother Charlie Cook has covered a period of nineteen years of the Church’s history.

At its initial meeting the Church elected Brethren Finley Cook, Charlie Cook, and T. U. Weatherford to serve as the first deacons. These three brethren were ordained on October 17, 1909. These brethren continued to serve in this office for the first thirty years of the Church’s history, On February 25, 1940, Brethren William Cook, Gilbert Onstott, Orville Hickey, and Orvin Hickey were ordained as deacons by Revs. W. W. Harvey, E. L. Sidles, Carl Bates, W. H. Rone, W. G. Potts, G. L. McGlothlin, and B. B. Sawyer. Three of these young men are now in the armed services of our country. Bro. T. U. Weatherford moved his membership in 1941 to the Third Baptist Church in Owensboro. Thus the Church is left with three deacons at present.

The Church continued to meet in the Chapel but the building was not fully satisfactory to the congregation and a plan was immediately set on foot to secure a lot and build a new house of worship. The lot on which the present house of worship is located was purchased in April, 1910. In October, 1910, Brethren Norris Lashbrook, Virgil Jackson, Finley Cook, G. W. Ratcliff, and Walker Jackson were appointed as a Building Committee to proceed with the undertaking. This Committee soon reported over $800.00 subscribed for a new building. An effort was made to build the house with an upstairs hall to be used by the W. O. W. Lodge. As the Lodge did not enter into the proposal the Church went ahead and erected a building 36 by 50 feet. The work progressed unto completion and on the fifth Sunday in September, 1912, the building was dedicated with Rev. P. E. Gatlin preaching the dedicatory sermon. The total value of the building and grounds was about $1,800. The Church immediately invited the Daviess County Association to meet with the Church but the invitation was declined. Since the erection of the building many improvements have been made as well as necessary repairs. A furnace was installed soon after the completion of the building and more recently another has taken its place. The Church also purchased one-half of an acre of ground for a Cemetery in the year 1916. It is to the rear of the building. Another one-half acre was added later on to this lot.

The Church was admitted to the fellowship of the Daviess County Baptist Association in its annual session in 1910, being represented by messengers Virgil Jackson, Walker Jackson, Ray Carlin, and Charlie Cook. She was cordially received and has remained a member to the present day. She entertained the Associational sessions in the year 1921 and again in 1942. On July 8, 1922, the Church granted Brother Everett Gill a license to preach the Gospel. He moved his membership later on and was ordained elsewhere.

Early in its history this Church appointed a Committee on Obituaries and the Committee has continued to function to the present time. Obituary notices occupy many of the pages of the two record books of the Church. Brother Norris Lashbrook died while serving as pastor of the Church for the third time and in January, 1936, a very fitting memorial is recorded in the minutes concerning his life and labors with the Church. His contribution to the life and welfare of the Church was outstanding.

Another interesting item on the history of this Church is the fact that there is no hint in the record of any serious disruption or division in the membership that is so common to many Baptist Churches. This Church has had to exercise disciplinary measures but on very few occasions. Such an outstanding record is worthy of comment and emulation. The doctrinal stamina of the membership has always been strong and healthy.

The Church has had a Sunday School organization from its beginning. On many occasions the bad roads in the winter time prevented a full twelve months service. Young People’s and Women’s work have also been fostered. Both groups have served with commendable zeal. Revivals have been held almost annually and the efforts of the brethren have been blessed of the Lord in the salvation of many souls who later became efficient members of the Church. The Church has also been missionary and benevolent during all of her history. The membership at present is the largest in the history of the Church-about 265. The prospects are bright and encouraging for an enlarged work in this Church. In fact, the membership is now making plans for additional Sunday School looms as soon as permissible.